Northern Ireland

Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland's funding cut by DoE

Dawson Stelfox Image copyright Outdoor Recreation NI
Image caption Dawson Stelfox, the first Irishman to climb Mount Everest, said a number of iconic walking trails in Northern Ireland would be jeopardy as a result of the funding cut

The body responsible for developing and managing outdoor activities in Northern Ireland has had all of its funding from the Department of Environment cut.

Outdoor Recreation Northern Ireland said all £120,000 of its funding will be withdrawn from April.

The organisation provides insurance for all walking trails in Northern Ireland.

It said the withdrawal of the DoE funding puts such trails throughout Northern Ireland at risk.

'Health and wellbeing'

Dawson Stelfox, chairman of the organisation and the first Irishman to climb Mount Everest, said iconic walks such as the Causeway Coast Way and the Ulster Way were now in jeopardy.

"The Northern Ireland Environment Committee is meeting today [Monday] to discuss the cuts and we urge the people of Northern Ireland to encourage them to challenge these cuts, for their own health and wellbeing as well as the economic benefits that outdoor recreation can bring," he said.

Outdoor Recreation NI has helped develop mountain bike trails in Rostrevor and Castlewellan in County Down and Davagh Forest in County Tyrone; the Canoe Trail on Lough Erne, walking and cycling trails in Beech Hill in County Londonderry, and the development of walking trails on Rathlin Island.

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